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City takes important step in Richmond Coliseum redevelopment project

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A 7-acre plot houses the city-owned Coliseum. (Kieran McQuilkin)

RICHMOND, Va. — As Richmond City Council gets ready to review the $1.4 billion, mayor-endorsed proposal to redevelop the Richmond Coliseum and surrounding area, the Richmond planning commission likewise is making preparations for the project that has yet to be formally presented or approved.

The planning commission on Monday is slated to declare its intent to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to accommodate the Navy Hill redevelopment project proposed by NH District Corp. and endorsed last month by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

The action aims to satisfy a state law requiring that some procedural step to initiate the process be taken before an amendment to the zoning ordinance can be introduced. It also would allow planning staff to prepare the amendment so it could be introduced along with other ordinances that would make the project possible.

The amendment, which would allow uses planned for the project that are not allowed by current zoning, then would be subject to review by the planning commission and council, according to a staff report included in the commission’s regular agenda Monday.

The commission is set to vote on the item when it meets today at 1:30 p.m.

At the same time, council plans to vote at its meeting Monday night to create an advisory commission to review and hold public hearings on the proposal, which Stoney would present to council at a later date.

A spokesman for Stoney said Friday that the project remains in negotiations and would not be presented Monday, council’s last meeting of the year.

Jim Nolan, Stoney’s press secretary, would not specify what remains under negotiation for the project, which Stoney endorsed in November and said had reached an agreement in principle between the city and NH District Corp., the group pushing the project led by Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell.

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